Aldur's Youth

May his name be forgotten for all eternity!

I have to write this down.. it's boiling over inside of me, I need a way to let it out. One person is still torturing me, after all those decades... One person is foremost in my mind, and has scarred me forever. Unfortunately, that person also happens to be my father.

But let me start at the moment most things start, birth. I was born as the first child of a loving mother, and a loving father (it seemed that way at least). The first few years of my life were quite happy, of course I spent a lot of it asleep. Only later did I find out that my father was then already ... *curses*.

But I said I would not jump forward too quickly. When I was 9 years old or so (not that I remember it that correctly, it has been more than 2 centuries already), my mother became pregnant again. She, and my newborn sister both died at childbirth... So the family was reduced to just me, and my father. No other relatives lived nearby, nor did I know about their existence. Perhaps the following will be easier to understand if I describe my father, as I remember him...

My father was not really that tall, nor that fat. What he was, is probably best described as one big chunk of muscles. He had black hair and a black beard, and quite a big scar on one cheek. He was quite probably the strongest dwarf in town, and his job used that to its advantage: he hauled goods through the corridors and caves of town. He never aspired to a more intelligent job, his mind was just not suited for that. I guess a lot of people looked up to him with awe for his strength, but me... I just felt fear.

My father had a couple of habits as I found out after my mother died... He used to spend evenings at the inn, just drinking. Now, I know more dwarves do that, so in and of itself, that is not bad. But, the drinking made my father aggressive. If you wonder where he got the money for those drinks... He was pretty good at boxing, even while being drunk. And there were always other dwarves around who would bet on such fights. That boxing meant that he knew where to hit for the most pain as well... and where to hit such that the hits would not be visible after a couple of hours anymore.


I'll just have to tell it straight out: All the years of my childhood, all the years I spent living with my father, he has beaten me... Beating me for cleaning up the house, beating me for letting it clutter, beating me for making sound, beating me for being silent. As you can see, there was no real way to avoid the beating. When I grew up I heard rumours... telling that he had also beaten up my mother when she was still around, and that that might even have caused her death..

But no-one dared to stand up to him, tell him it was wrong. And dwarven laws meant that I had to stay with my parent(s) until I was an adult myself. Running away would not be a good idea therefore... Not really old enough to take care of myself, and making an outcast of myself that way. I never really saw a lot of the outdoors in my childhood, my father was more than happy to stay home, haul cargo, and occasionally beat his son.

How I endured that for all those years.. God knows (if there even exists a god in this world). I suppose I should thank my father for my extra large stamina... training me to endure those blows (crying meant more blows would be coming, and not responding might, mind you might, mean the blows would stop). I of course went to school, like any dwarf should do, and I was quite a student. What do you think, it was about my only way to flee from his hands. My teacher happened to love talking philosophy, and he learned me to view the world from a different angle. That might have helped enduring as well...

Funny, he has never hit me hard enough to make me go to hospital... Perhaps in the back of his mind he knew that it would not be thought of as all right to hit your son... Perhaps your wife, every so often, but never your blood-own son. I still do not know how many of the dwarves in town realised my situation.

When the time came to choose my profession, in a way my father forced the choice already. I needed a profession which would give me the strength to face my father on his terrain... to not fear him anymore. There was only one way to go: become a warrior. And there was only one way to do that, enlist in the local army. For the last couple of years of my childhood, I spent hours practicing with the army. Finally, when I became adult, I was allowed to go on a mission to the outside... It was a very simple mission, but fortunately quite far away. When I look back, I sometimes still feel ashamed for what I did then... but my philosophy tells me it was the only right thing to do for me at that point. I deserted the army after the fight, and wandered off with my equipment. The army had already taught me how to find food and drink in the wilderness, and the start of how to fight. I made a life for myself in the new place I found, and now I stand here, writing this down...

It has been decades, nay centuries ago... but I still cannot, and will not write or say his name.. He still scars me, because anytime someone moves a hand towards me, the memories return... Ah, the memories of those unpleasant days! Perhaps this writing down can be the start of the forgetting... Hopefully my father is no more, died already... It is quite possible, I am turning old too, but there is no way for me to find out. Nor would I want to contact my old town, I truly fear that my father somehow found a way to outlive me.

Ah, the night has fallen some time ago already, and my candlelight is growing dim... I should go rest soon.